This was pretty much a wrap up meeting, with the group deciding to explore Cymbarton a bit as well as cash in on some of their knowledge by faking a trip to Broken Hills and giving what they knew to the guild leader. I really had no idea what the party wanted to do and although I have 3 ideas for the next adventure all lending to the title, "Shadows Run Deep" I was a bit unready for their wander around and learn stuff, any small jobs we can do, where can we go in the sandbox next idea.
I think they'll have another meeting or two in Cymbarton and then get their asses out the door and on to the next adventure. It will more straight forward and goal oriented - a MacGuffin to grab at the end of the day. But it's the MacGuffin afterwards that will come back to play a bigger part in their day to day. So I think this is the soft unofficial end of "Adventure 10".
Write up follows:
We found ourselves on a pig caravan, transporting 68 fat sows from the docks of Eider to Dry River and eventually Cymbarton. In the beginning the teamsters were reserved and quiet, not sharing conversation or food with the party. The journey was quiet and uneventful. That night we were surprised and a bit miffed to learn that the caravaners did not want to share their fire with us, nor their food (although water was plentiful). We figured out that they had been given an earful from the Baronet and not knowing us or our better achievements were under the impression that they should snub us.
Norris went through the trouble to making us a hot meal, and seeing that we hadn’t had much chance to load up on supplies before escaping town, Soren took Digger out to go hunt up some local game, eventually coming across and bagging 2 small deer. After gutting the animals he and his wolverine brought back the carcasses where Norris began making not only a heartier dinner, but also smoking some of the meat. The caravaners watched this for a few moments before the ranger offered them a share of the bounty which they took with smiles and much thanks. With their aid the animals were skinned and the skin flensed and readied for transport. Most of the remaining meat was smoked and we went to bed all feeling much better about or lot in things.
The next day was dry, the temperature unseasonably cool. Our traveling companions were friendlier today and were more than willing to chat and share. As we went along we passed the odd small thorp or village, eventually stopping near an area where the locals were willing to allow us to stay. A couple of the pigs were given as payment for lodgings, fresh hay, and other simple travelling essentials. Gwyn made a simple brace for a young man with a twisted leg and the townsfolk seemed to be appreciative of the dwarf’s efforts. More good deeds. We rested well and without complaint, the next day brought us rain and the teamsters were going to wait until as close to 11 to decide on leaving.
When the hour passed it was decided that the rain was not going to last and we should press on, which we did, arriving at the small town (550) of Dry River. Originally built at the ancient dwarven bridge site that crossed the now dry Copper Bottom River, it served as a meetup and resting point for travelers going between Eider, Principia, and Cymbarton. Most of the homes were simple, only a half dozen of them encompassing any stonework in their makeup.
We went to the brothel called the Arched Legs and then passed through to the Dry River Inn where a handful of copper and brass got us rooms for the night and some simple fare for dinner. It was here that our caravan companions informed us that they would be selling their pigs here in Dry River as they felt they could get a good price and knock off almost 4 days in round trip travel to Cymbarton. We were dismayed but understood (Gwyn eventually learning that an adult pig can be sold for around 10-15 gold each). The group settled down for the night and eventually went to sleep.
We awoke the next day and immediately set out to see if we could get on a caravan going to Cymbarton, or if we should just rent/buy horses. It turns out there was one going later on that day and they needed some guards. Norris went to smooth talk the guy, who was transporting 3 wagons of hay to the capital city and they needed a couple of guys good with a sword. Pay was 4 coppers/day/person and he would round it up to 1 silver noble for the trip there – food included. Norris took it and then went to find us to let us know.
We were just glad to be going and it was at that point that the merchant felt that we were WAY overqualified on this (I mean a half ogre, a platemail wearing priest, a king’s man, a dwarven brawler, and a bard – to guard HAY?!?!) but was thrilled to have us. We rode off and it was 2 days later we pulled into Cymbarton – no issues.
We opted NOT to go back with the merchant but instead got directions to the adventurer’s guild as well as the local best hotel, a place called the Yawning Portal. We walked the massive city, tightly packed throng of over 50,000 local residents and even more visitors. The Adventurer’s Guild was located in Old City, just past Hillside Avenue. Once inside we went up to see the guild master, a rotund gnome named Dumethion Dracowulf.
During the journey here the group had decided to fill out the blank charter we had gotten from Sverek Falconhand of Broken Hills (before everything there had gone terribly wrong!!), naming our new incarnation of the group “Iron Bars” and declaring Soren the leader. There was a change though – three of the party members from the original Sundered Chains/Soren and Company were going to be using aliases to throw off any chance of Myrius discovering who we were.
So Soren became Gullwing, Gwyn became Steele, and Norris became Owen. Beren and Gustav of course did not change anything.
Dumethion was pleased to meet us and we handed him our charter. He read it over and noted that there was nothing wrong with it. He did ask about Broken Hills as the charter was dated about a month ago. We played quiet and dumb, telling him that we had been there for a time and that Norris’s grandfather had known Sverek’s some time ago (a line of crap but told so bald faced and only once it flew under the radar).
The guild master then told us that the last 2 caravans that had gone to Broken Hills had not come back, neither had any of the aviaries that had been sent. Even the few seers that did operate said only that there was fire and shadow involved with Broken Hills and it was clouding their sight. A bounty of 175 crowns was being raised by Baron Umbar for any group able to go to the city and bring back an explanation and maybe proof of what happened. A couple of groups had said they would go but to date, no one had come back.
We told Dumethion we would think on it and then were told some of the perks and rules of being guild members. There were 4 seers that did work/live here and we were able to go visit them for they would identify magical items if need be for a price, the first time was free. We thanked him and left.
Downstairs we met with the seers and had the assassin’s sword identified (it was not a nice blade) and Norris’ cup. Soren offered to have the blade sold to anyone who might have a magical bow they wanted to sell. Dumethion said he would send out feelers and we could have an answer tomorrow. Gustav paid to find out where Karis was (Dragonhole in the process of getting Gwyn’s old shield Steadfast for his own) and Norris paid to find out what was going on back home (Darkwaters, no one missed him and everyone felt he had died many months ago).
We left, eventually getting some sleep after Beren had gone to the Tyrian Cathedral and declaring himself ready for advancement and Norris went to the local thieves guild and just saying ‘hi!’ being recognized and left alone as a member of Blackshadow’s Guild in Eider.
The next day we rented two horses and a cart and rode north towards Broken Hills – stopping 6 hours short of the place. We came across an older man and his wife, she was badly hurt from Wyvern attack and Norris used some antitoxin to save her life. She was mended up and we left them to head on to Cymbarton. More good deeds. We slept fitfully and kept watch, making NO effort to go to Broken Hills. Then we turned around and went back to Cymbarton and right to the adventurer’s guild, telling Dumethion what we had seen, the state of Broken Hills, heck, even Norris whipped out the torn tabard he had taken from the guard there over a week ago as “proof” we had been there and what had happened. The tabard was taken to the seers and with something in their hand might be able to better tell what happened. New aviaries would be sent to Eider and Dilabria and tell them what had been learned here and maybe get their input as well. We were thanked, paid, and went on our way.
There was talk of riding to Orihalcus but as of this time, we don’t know for sure what is going to happen next.